3125  In the Midst of the Paradox: Citizenship and State

Room: C3.01


Chair: Susana Santos, ISCTE-IUL

Trevor Purvis | Carleton University

Sovereignty and the Limits of Citizenship




The teleological postwar vision of gradual but inevitable unfolding of citizenship (Marshall) into an increasingly comprehensive array of rights that would secure for individuals the freedoms essential to a full and meaningful social membership is all but dead.  If the tenuous character of the freedoms so derived has been highlighted by an array of scholars (Habermas, Foucault, Purvis & Hunt), too little effort has been focused on the retooling of the central organizing concept of social and political modernity – sovereignty – in the dismantling of rights guarantees associated citizenship.
Neoliberalism and the preponderant post-9/11 focus on security has seen a consolidation and deepening of the earlier assaults on rights guaranteed by welfare state expansion. Today, the assault on that panoply of citizenship rights has migrated from the dismantling of social rights secured in the postwar era squarely into the realm of civil and political rights, as the security state intrudes upon the most intimate spheres of our lives in order, paradoxically, to make us ‘more secure’. The exception has become the rule, and right is to be subordinated to its exigencies.
Despite much musing over its demise, sovereignty and its reemerged as a principle logic of governance in the post-9/11 world, securing the conditions for the reproduction of capital at both local and global levels, truncating the rights of citizens, both within liberal democracies and those who find themselves in the crosshairs of Empire. Popular sovereignty, the ostensible gift that lifted us out of the shadow of Leviathan’s tyranny, has retreated to its Hobbesian roots, and the subtle techniques of biopolitics and discipline typical of liberal governance have revealed their necropolitical foundations.

Susan M. Sterett | University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Law, Time, Displacement: Extending Disaster in Law




Disasters in law, media representations and emergency management are discrete events contained in time and place.  This paper questions these limits, drawing on Carol Greenhouse’s discussion of time in law and Chris Hilson’s discussion of the timeline of climate change in law.   Institutional factors spread disaster into the longstanding troubles and advantages people experience.   When managers divide disaster into stages, the last stage, recovery, can last an indefinite time.  However, media revisiting the sites of disasters on anniversaries as well as scholarship still bound disasters geographically. Communities recover, and recovery is measured by what is happening in the place of the event.  The Mississippi Gulf contains the Deepwater Horizon Oil spill.  Disasters in El Salvador require recovery in El Salvador, not resettlement elsewhere.  Hurricane Maria’s devastation is only occasionally recognized as bringing resettlement elsewhere, with accompanying reverberations.  Assistance goes to the place, and the people in the place.  Yet people move, and the timelines of both causation and recovery are much longer than media attention or spending suggest.  Recent maps of post-disaster population shifts, which find that more affluent people  leave places after disaster, imply that less well off people will continue to be at greater risk in disaster, but the maps do not explain how this happens (Boustan et al., 2017).  Recent debates over climate change as a matter of human rights (Atapattu, 2015) miss the legal decisions outside of international rights frameworks making moving possible now.  Legal policies return to shake up lives years later.  The United States government has revisited the grant of temporary protected status to those who fled disasters in Haiti and El Salvador years ago.  By bringing into view the institutional factors shaping disasters and their timelines, and the displacement that accompanies them, this paper will contribute to theorizing political institutions and disaster, including in climate change.

Begoña Dorronsoro | CES Centro de Estudos Sociais, Universidade de Coimbra

Is there such a thing as international nationalism? Beyond the modern nation-state failed system.




Some explanations upon recent uprisings of nationalisms especially in Europe tend to sign them as the expressions of nowadays xenophobic racist extreme right tendencies in western countries in response to presumed economic and immigration crises. With the focus on persons and individual attitudes we may be losing the larger picture where the failure of the modern nation-state system is revealed at last as a worldwide applied formula that does not work in colonized countries but neither it does in the western metropolis where it was conceived.
The European Union resulted in a union of markets of some nation-states instead of a union of peoples and nations that do not fit in the limits and borders of those nation-states nor in supposed common values that do not recognize yet the history, languages and aspirations from different nationalities within at the same level as the official ones. Those other nationalisms within and beyond nation-states are diverse as well, even in one same region as it happens in the Basque Country (both on the Spanish and French side) or in Catalonia there are rightist and leftist parties inside those nationalist movements being the leftist ones those who talk and think more about the idea and put into practice of international nationalisms (EH Bildu in the Basque Country, CUP in Catalonia).
These ideas, reflexions and practices are in dialogue and learn from other concepts expressed among others by Murray Bookchin (1991) and the libertarian municipalism that inspired Abdulla Öcalan and the Rojava democratic confederalism, and other expressions of self-determination and autonomy released by other peoples and nations all over the world.
With this paper I want to focus on those possible international nationalisms, the conditions and needs to approach them through decolonial and decolonization practices and in dialogue with racialized and minoritized movements and representatives to build nations that do not reproduce the modern nation-state system´s inequalities, oppressions and colonialities, and the role of law in all of this with the confrontation between legality and legitimacy.

Khadija Ahmed | University of Toronto

For Security’s Sake: Muslims’ Mobility and Citizenship Rights in Canada and the U.K.




Under the auspices of the global ‘war against terror’, Canada and the United Kingdom have enacted indiscriminate counter-terrorism laws, policies and practices since 2001. These practices, however, challenge their Muslim citizens’ rights; thus, balancing national security with the rule of law and human rights is a complex exercise whereby these two states struggle, and often fail, to reconcile. Predictably, Muslim nationals in both Canada and the United Kingdom are subjected to legal ‘othering’ and constructed as problematic and risky ‘others.’  A significant amount of scholarship demonstrates how counter-terrorism measures negatively impact Muslim communities in Canada and the United Kingdom;  furthermore, some scholarship demonstrates Muslim symptomatic experiences at Canadian and United Kingdom borders.  However, beyond the wide-ranging analyses of the criminalization, targeting of and hostility towards Muslims in Canada and the United Kingdom, limited research has been conducted on the relationship between counterterrorism legislation, citizenship and mobility rights.
Presently, what are the larger socio-legal implications of the interconnected relationship between counter-terrorism legislations, citizenship and transnational mobility rights in leading Western commonwealth nations such as Canada and the United Kingdom? This proposed thesis examines counter-terrorism legislations’ relationship to citizenship and mobility rights in both Canada and the United Kingdom, respectively. These rights vis-à-vis counter-terrorism, illustrate how these two nations internally yet transnationally manage and navigate terrorism in a volatile geopolitical atmosphere. This socio-legal study will assess the evolving relationship between counter-terrorism measures, citizenship and mobility rights to determine the effectiveness of counterterrorism measures. 



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